1. Rachael1918
    Offline

    Rachael1918 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2011
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0

    Character's notebook?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Rachael1918, Apr 20, 2011.

    Hi,

    I've been working on a particular writing experiment recently, and wanted to see if anyone else here has done anything similar.

    I love getting really nice, good quality notebooks to write in - mainly because I feel more motivated to write if I've got a beautiful notebook to write in as opposed to a scruffy old notepad (I know it shouldn't matter, but somehow ... it does). I have lots of different notebooks for different purposes, but use one in particular as a collection of anecdotes, diary entries, stories, poems and sketches by a single character. The layout's a bit mad and the character is forever writing about different stages in her life at random pages, mainly because my character has something of an untidy mind (to say the least!) and doesn't understand the concept of using one page at a time, so goes back and forth between different parts of the notebook.

    I'm doing this particular exercise because the character is mute, and is trapped in a very difficult and uncomfortable position without having any means of expressing herself openly. As a result, I decided that she would then pour everything into her writing, and the drawings that accompany her writing.

    I'm personally finding it very useful in helping me flesh out my character's understanding of her environment, and even more useful in getting to grips with her feelings about herself (I plan to write in the first person, so that's crucial for me).

    So, has anyone here done anything similar, i.e. creating a project of some description as if it was created by a character in your story?
     
  2. Melzaar the Almighty
    Offline

    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2010
    Messages:
    1,792
    Likes Received:
    55
    Location:
    UK
    I've probably done some drawings I would have said a character did, but aside from just writing in first person I've largely not done that. :p There was one notebook I started to write some stuff in as if it were one of the books mentioned in the novel, but I got bored of it and the books no longer exist in the context of the story so there's no point writing extracts from them any more.

    I find it largely useless to write a lot of great creative stuff which is never going to be included in the novel. I dream a lot around the characters and story and often have ideas I don't include, but I never write it down, and I just let the story carry all the characterisation I need. If I need to come up with more somewhere else I'd feel like I wasn't doing the most thorough job. But then, I remember the emotional events of the novel all the way through very clearly and keep building on that, so I don't want to confuse myself either by writing a scene where a character explores that issue, and then not include it, because I would either just have to copy my extra curricular writing into the story anyway, or feel I'd compromised the creativity because I'd feel the better exploration wasn't even in the novel. I build up the characters brick by brick within the novel, and I don't like building ugly extensions to that house that I'd just have to rip down before selling the thing. :p
     
  3. Elgaisma
    Offline

    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    Messages:
    5,337
    Likes Received:
    92
    My characters have blogs - not back into the swing of them since being ill - hope to start up again on Sunday.
     
  4. TheSpiderJoe
    Offline

    TheSpiderJoe Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2011
    Messages:
    174
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Arizona
    That's actually a really interesting concept. Sadly, I can't really consider doing that since it will seem drastically out of character for main characters to write in a blog.

    I'm all for it though. I love reading bonus insights into characters. I remember reading the novelization of Batman: No Man's Land and every chapter started with Oracle (former Batgirl) reading from a journal of new events passed.
     
  5. aimi_aiko
    Offline

    aimi_aiko Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2011
    Messages:
    340
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    Kentucky
    I haven't done anything like this, but I'm thinking about creating a blog or journal for one of my characters. All because it seems like a fantastic idea. XD
     
  6. DeNile
    Offline

    DeNile Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2011
    Messages:
    107
    Likes Received:
    6
    Lucillia, my MC, has a dream journal. Her friend/possible future lover Thessa has a scrapbook in her old home she filled with bits about the war. Lucillia's unnamed mother and father have love letters they have written to each other because they aren't allowed to be together. They've never thrown a single one out.
     
  7. minstrel
    Offline

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    8,725
    Likes Received:
    4,821
    Location:
    Near Los Angeles
    One of my main characters is a singer, so I wrote some songs for him that do not appear in the novel. Nobody hears them except family ...
     
  8. EdFromNY
    Offline

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Messages:
    4,684
    Likes Received:
    2,534
    Location:
    Queens, NY
    I've never had a notebook for a specific character, but in my early post-collegiate years, before the PC became a necessity, there was nothing like a crisp, new, pristine notebook to fire the imagination. A blank notebook seemed just crammed with possibilities.
     
  9. Rachael89
    Offline

    Rachael89 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2010
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    I definitely agree that it is very wasteful, in a way, to keep a notebook in the sense that I did. However, I find it immensely helpful in allowing me to really get to know my charecter, and it gives me added confidence when writing them 'for real' so to speak. I find you can over-load a story with the traits and experiences of a particular charecter, so find it useful to channel all that excess somewhere else.
     
  10. Jonp
    Offline

    Jonp Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2011
    Messages:
    114
    Likes Received:
    3
    Wouldn't it be cool if you became really famous because of the book and could then auction off the in-character notebook for millions?
     
  11. Elgaisma
    Offline

    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    Messages:
    5,337
    Likes Received:
    92
    I find it useful for when i am resting a story, it helps me keep in touch with characters I am not using. All of my characters are in stories that easily lead into other stories.

    Time spent with my characters is never wasteful lol plus there are some scenes I have written just for them that I wouldn't put in any books - just stupid things like Socrates and Nate ice dancing or finishing off a scene that is a bit too grown up for a particular book.

    Like my Abbot pointed out one day unless I am writing him he isn't alive and some I feel more guilty about leaving behind than others. Also not all my characters that keep blogs would make a novel length story but are fun in little segments.
     
  12. KillianRussell
    Offline

    KillianRussell Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2011
    Messages:
    619
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location:
    Glasshouse
    I terrorize my characters with no intent of using the piece I will time travel my French Quarter natives to a Bedrock swinger's club to see how they will act and react.
     

Share This Page